Book of Isaiah 55: 10-11
Thus says the LORD: Just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to the one who sows and bread to the one who eats,
So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.
Psalms 65(64): 10,11,12-13,14
You have visited the land and watered it;
greatly have you enriched it.
God’s watercourses are filled;
You have prepared the grain.
Thus have you prepared the land:
drenching its furrows, breaking up its clods,
softening it with showers,
blessing its yield.
You have crowned the year with your bounty,
and your paths overflow with a rich harvest;
the untilled meadows overflow with it,
and rejoicing clothes the hills.
The pastures are clothed with flocks,
the valleys blanketed with grain;
they cheer and sing for joy.
Letter to the Romans 8: 18-23
Brothers and sisters: I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.
For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God;
for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope
that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.
We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now;
and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 13: 1-23
On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.
Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore.
And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up.
Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep,
and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.
But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
The disciples approached him and said, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”
He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted.
To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
This is why I speak to them in parables, because ‘they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.'”
Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: ‘You shall indeed hear but not understand you shall indeed look but never see.
Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and be converted, and I heal them.’
But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.
Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it”.
Hear then the parable of the sower.
The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart.
The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy.
But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away.
The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit.
But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”
Reflection by Pope Benedict XVI
God Attract Us With the Goodness of His Incarnate Son
“Jesus addresses the multitude with the famous parable of the sower. “In some way this is an ‘autobiographical’ episode”, he said, “because it reflects Jesus’ own experience as a preacher. He identifies Himself with the sower who, while spreading the good seed of God’s Word, becomes aware of the differing effects it produces depending on the way it is accepted. There are those who listen superficially but fail to welcome it; those who accept it immediately but have no constancy and lose everything; those who are overwhelmed by the cares and lures of the world, and those who receive and absorb it like good soil, for them the Word brings forth abundant fruit.
“Yet this Gospel narrative also highlights the ‘method’ of Jesus’ preaching; in other words, His use of parables”, the Holy Father added. “His disciples ask Him: ‘why do you speak to them in parables?’ Jesus replies by distinguishing between the disciples and the crowds: to the former, who have already chosen to follow Him, He can speak openly of the Kingdom of God, but to others He has to use parables in order to simulate a decision, a conversion of heart. This is because parables, by their nature, require an effort of interpretation, they appeal to our intelligence but also to our freedom.
…In the final analysis the true ‘Parable’ of God is Jesus Himself … Who, in human form, both hides and reveals divinity. Thus, God does not force us to believe in Him; rather, He draws us to Him with the truth and goodness of His incarnate Son. Love, in fact, always respects freedom”.
VATICAN CITY, 10 JUL 2011
TLM readings for the sixth Sunday after Pentecost:
EPISTLE Romans 6: 3-11
Brethren, all we who are baptized in Christ Jesus are baptized in His death. For we are buried together with Him by baptism unto death; that as Christ is risen from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in the newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin may be destroyed, and that we may serve sin no longer. For he that is dead is justified from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall live also together with Christ. Knowing that Christ, rising again from the dead, dieth now no more, death shall no more have dominion over Him. For in that He died to sin, He died once; but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. So do you also reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
GRADUAL Psalms 89: 13, 1
Return, O Lord, a little: and be entreated in favor of Thy servants. Lord, Thou hast been our refuge from generation to generation. Alleluia, alleluia. (Ps. 30: 2, 3) In Thee, O Lord, I have hoped, let me never be confounded: deliver me in Thy justice, and release me: bow down Thine ear to me, make haste to deliver me. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Mark 8: 1-9
At that time, when there was a great multitude with Jesus, and they had nothing to eat, calling His disciples together, He saith to them: I have compassion on the multitude, for behold they have now been with Me three days, and have nothing to eat and if I shall send them away fasting to their home, they will faint in the way: for some of them came from afar off. And His disciples answered Him: From whence can any one fill them here with bread in the wilderness? And he asked them: How many loaves have ye? Who said: Seven. And He commanded the people to sit down on the ground. And taking the seven loaves, giving thanks, He broke and gave to His disciples to set before the people. And they had a few little fishes, and He blessed them, and commanded them to be set before them. And they did eat, and were filled: and they took up that which was left of the fragments, seven baskets: and they that had eaten, were about four thousand: and He sent them away.